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tv   Starting Point  CNN  December 3, 2012 4:00am-6:00am PST

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>> and born in the usa, neighbors outraged over a home they say serves as a maternity center set up so chinese mothers can give birth to anchor babies. and it's all perfectly legal. >> packed two hours ahead. we'll have joe linta, agent for the kansas city chief es linebacker jovan belcher, remember he tragedy took his own life after shooting his girlfriend over the weekend. connecticut democratic senator richard blumenthal will be ining us. we'll have republican congressman from florida, connie mack, and california republican mary bono mack joining us as well. and former commerce secretary carlos gutierrez, tiki barber is with us, as well. "starting point" begins right now. good morning, welcome, everybody. our "starting point" this morning is those pacific storms in northern california. third one in five days from san
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francisco to sacramento, floodwaters and fierce winds have been knocking out power to thousands of people. some people who lived in the areas for decades say they have never seen anything like this. >> thing just went up fast. >> we've had previously where it's gotten up real high but hasn't gotten this bad. >> do you live right here in the park? >> right here. >> right here? yeah, right there. i got my mom out. i took her down to a friend's house down the street because you never know if water like this what it's going to do. >> people are evacuating out of the cars, and as you see, you can't get out. i had to march up the hill and walk down the side hill to get in here. so it's really, really very bad. >> rob marciano is tracking the storms from the cnn weather center in atlanta. how is it looking in the near future, rob? >> well, a bit of a break today, soledad. more rain coming tomorrow. you saw the folks dealing with the rain about fall, cars driving through it. the rivers rushing.
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but we have infrastructure damage, as well. some video out of oakland in and around this area, lafayette there, this home damage, a number of them, you get near the hillside, that brings down debris and boulders and mud, and that does damage not only to homes but on the other side of roadways, we've got damage from a number of primary and secondary roads in and around this bay area. a tremendous amount of rainfall that has just undermined those structures. so you've got issues with that, as well. of course people driving through these flooded streets. you've got a need for rescues. the fire departments and their swift water rescue teams were out in full force over the weekend rescuing people. this is in cuss cadder ra and a number of other people had to be rescued. napa valley tremendous rainfall there. napa river up and over its floodbanks. the sacramento river also in flood stage. in some cases, almost a foot and a half of rainfall in this five-day period. raining right now in seattle to portland.
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not raining right now in sacramento and san francisco. but that will likely change as we get through tomorrow, at least tonight into tomorrow. yesterday, punch was pretty strong and you saw the damage from that. our next system about to come in. it will start in the pacific northwest tonight and tomorrow morning and eventually drift down to the south. shouldn't be as strong as far as wind and rain like what we saw the past three. also big issue with fog this morning across the great lakes, down across the southeast. very, very warm from across the eastern sector of the u.s., and with that comes a little bit of fog. >> that's so unusual for california, isn't it? a lot of times reporting there. in that area like that to that degree. thank you for the update. congress heads back to work this morning as the clock is ticking down toward the impending fiscal cliff. talks, though, seem to be at a stalemate. yesterday with just 29 days until tax hikes and deep spending cuts kick in. both republicans and the democrats were running to the airwaves to try to explain their positions.
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here's what they said. >> what we're not going to do is extend those tax cuts with the wealthiest americans. those cost a trillion dollars over ten years and there's no possibility that we're going to find a way to get our fiscal house in order without those tax rates going back up. >> nobody wants to go over the cliff. that's why the day after the election i tried to speed this process up by making the concession to put revenues on the table. it's unfortunate that the white house has spent three weeks doing basically nothing. >> the administration has presented a plan that calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues. $400 billion in cuts to medicare and other entitlements. $50 billion for a new stimulus and congress would have to give up control over raising the debt limit. republicans have indicated that they want to raise revenue by lowering tax deductions, haven't given any specifics yet. brings us right to white house correspondent brianna keilar. good morning, brianna. >> good morning to you, soledad. yes, things are at an impasse here.
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i will tell you the white house after not being very happy with the pace of negotiations the week before last sent treasury secretary tim geithner up to the hill to outline this proposal. there's a lot we already knew about that president obama had already taken a public position on. the white house is now saying to republicans as well, we want you to put the meat on the bones when it comes to the entitlement reform portion of this deficit reduction plan. that's politically very tricky, as you know, because a lot of times dealing with entitlements will be construed as cuts to medicare and that's often not very popular. as you can imagine that deal that you just outlined, not received very well by republicans on the hill. >> i think we're going over the cliff. it's pretty clear to me they've made a political calculation. this offer doesn't remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save medicare and medicaid, and social security from imminent bankruptcy. the president's plan when it comes to entitlement reform is just quite frankly a joke so i
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don't think they're serious about finding a deal. >> so not really good language you're hearing soledad. house speaker john boehner said he found the proposal flabbergasting. he said it's not serious. but you definitely have the white house here and democrats feeling that they have some leverage. they look at polls that show americans are more prepared to blame republicans because of the impasse and also the fact that the consequences of the fiscal cliff, these spending cuts and these tax -- pardon me the spending cuts and the tax increases that kick in here at the end of the year, the consequences are very dire and following the election the white house and democrats think that they can really push republicans into a corner here. >> brianna keilar for us. thank you. just ahead we're going to be talking with connecticut senator richard blumenthal will join us to talk a little bit about the democrats' responsibility about this impending fiscal cliff. another story we're following, friends and family of kansas city chiefs jovan belcher looking for answers this morning after he killed his girlfriend and then took his own life. his team took to the field just a day after the tragedy.
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it was i guess kind of a somber victory. they beat the carolina panthers 27-21. just their second game of the season. saturday morning belcher shot his 22-year-old girlfriend kasandra perkins and then turned the gun on himself outside the practice facility. he and perkins leave behind a 3-month-old daughter. casey wian has been talking to chiefs players and coaches, all of them trying to figure out what was wrong. let's talk a little bit first about croce crennel who saw belcher kill himself at -- what did he say that belcher said to him? >> well he hasn't said what belcher said to him specifically but what police have said is that belcher expressed this thankfulness to coach crennel and chiefs organization from giving him a chance to play in the nfl. he was from a small university
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and he worked really hard to get where he was. there was another member of chiefs staff who saw that he had a gun and called 911. the chiefs staff members who confronted belcher in the parking lot said they never felt like they were in any danger. at least that's according to police. but then he shot himself right in front of them. the police now know exactly what happened. what they're trying to figure out in this investigation is obviously why it happened. >> yeah, i mean 25 years old. he'd been really just sort of a, an underdog in a lot of ways and he'd been so successful in that. there have been six current or former nfl players that have committed suicide in the past two years. which is an unprecedented number. what are they looking into as to the why behind all those? well there has been some speculation about the role that perhaps traumatic head injuries, concussions may have played in this. there's no concrete evidence of
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that at all. but the nfl has been struggling with the issues of concussions for awhile. that is something that i'm sure they're going to be looking into. also this tragic issue of suicide among current and former players. definitely on the mind of chiefs players. we spoke through one who's been through this before. >> i've been through this situation earlier in the year, in tennessee with o.j. murdoch when i was with cincinnati, so i'm kind of used to this now. won't say used to it but i been in the situation before. so just continue to try to pray for the families that lost loved ones, and continue to go. we need to talk to each other more as men, not as football players i mean in life. because generally men don't really show their feelings. you know, they don't talk about what's going on. they don't cry. they don't show emotion. i mean, to, to have a act go on like this yesterday, it's one of those things, could have been avoided.
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as a teammate you know we have to do more about not getting in people's business but i mean just, just you know, making sure that you know the teammate's okay. soledad you mentioned earlier that it was a somber victory for the chiefs yesterday. it was somber and quiet throughout the whole game. quietest crowd i've ever heard at an nfl stadium and that locker room was really surreal. wasn't much celebration going on at all. >> what a terrible tragedy. casey wian for us. i mean he was 25 years old. his girlfriend was 22 years old. that's just a horrible story. casey wian reporting for us. coming up in our next hour we're going to talk to jovan belcher's agent joe linta. he's been his agent since 2009. he also represents the kansas city coach who witnessed the suicide. we'll get his take right at 8:00 this morning. first though want to get a look at some of the other stories making news. >> good morning, everybody. a member of the u.s. coast guard
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is dead after a suspicious boat rammed his inflatable boat during a pursuit off the coast of southern california. affiliate wabc says the suspicious boat was used to smuggle drugs. chief petty officer was one of two coast guard members thrown off on impact. he suffered a twrau matic head injury. the other coast guardsman was treated at a local hospital. the coast guard says the suspicious vessel was intercepted and the two people were detained. an evacuation order remains in effect this morning in doyline, louisiana, as authorities rush to secure more than 6 million pounds of gun powder. the m-6 powder was found that camp minden. operation is under way to move the powder into authorized fasscilities on the same safe. workers have safely stored more than 1 million pounds. that's enough to fill 27 18-wheelers. >> soledad grab all three of your mobile devices the pope is on twitter. starting december 12th.
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pope benedict will begin tweeting using the handle @pontifex that's p-o-n-t-i-f-e-x. he already has 6700 followers. vatican officials say the pope will be composing the tweets himself. >> how can he have 6700 followers? >> -- well he's on you know. the vatican by the way launched a twitter news feed 17 months ago, kicked it off with a tweet from pope benedict. president obama recognized entertainers at the kennedy center honors last night. this year's honorees include oscar winner dustin hoffman, late night host david letterman, ballerina, blues guitarist buddy guy and led zeppelin. listen to this during a reception for the event mitt romney supporter kid rock ran into the president. rock says the run-in wasn't awkward, not at all. in fact he says they were able to laugh off any past rivalries. >> he said i'm still here.
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no hard feelings. and he remembered meeting my son when i played his inauguration, which was very special. >> and the kumbayah moment, kid rock also ran into look at that our own wolf blitzer right before the ceremony. >> cut and paste that photo. >> wolf tweeted that picture. my invitation must have blown off my desk. >> still ahead this morning on "starting point," fiery danger that's forced ford to now recall two of its best-selling models. we'll update you on that and the race against time to stop america from plunging off the fiscal cliff. obama administration said to lead the top republican in the house flabbergasted. you're watching "starting point." ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift
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16 minutes after the hour, welcome back to "starting point." minding your business now, ford is issuing recalls for two of its newest and biggest selling models. the 2013 escape crossover and the 2013 fusion sedan. the problem is at the engines can overheat and catch on fire. the recall affects nearly 90,000 vehicles. market check now, u.s. stock futures are up. possible data overnight on china's manufacturing sector. investors will be watching those fiscal cliff negotiations in washington today. plus, we will get reports on u.s. auto sales. manufacturing and construction spending. big news this week, of course, the november jobs report for the government, that will come out on friday. soledad, back to you. >> alina, thank you.
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the story that's going to affect all of our wallets, our retirement, our benefits, the economy, if, in fact, we do go over the fiscal cliff, taxes will go up, major spending cuts will kick in. this weekend republican south carolina congressman seth graham said he thinks that we're going to go off the fiscal cliff in fact and he said this, i think we're going to go over the cliff, it seems to me that they made a political calculation. this offer doesn't remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save medicare, medicaid and social security from imminent bankruptcy. senator richard blumenthal is a democrat from the state of connecticut. he joins us this morning. >> good to see you. >> you heard lindsey graham saying he thinks we're going off the cliff. you think that's true? >> i respectfully disagree. i'm really encouraged that we can avoid this fiscal cliff for a number of reasons. first of all, there is a growing group of republicans who say we really need to raise revenue, not just talk about raising revenue, but actually increase taxes on the wealthiest 2%. and they're willing to consider those kinds of taxes that the
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president proposed so that middle-class americans, the 98%, will not see any taxes. and second i'm encouraged because some of the businesses, in fact a growing number of businesses, moderate and constructively, are proposing that the president's plan make sense. but the major developments that really for the republicans to come forward with some of their specifics. and specific terms, and proposals if they say they want to avoid these tax increases. they need to be more specific. on how to do it. >> you keep using the word encourage and i'll read you some other words that have come from lindsey graham. he said it's a joke. it's not serious. and it, you know, you might be encouraged but treasury secretary geithner did not seem all that encouraged. he seemed like he had to spend his entire weekend on television sort of selling his side of it. there are republicans who would say listen what the democrats have supposed -- offered is
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absolutely nothing and as time ticks away we're starting already late in the game to be sort of a still at point zero. >> the president's put a great deal on the table. first of all, 1.6 trillion in tax increases that hit only the wealthiest 2% of u.s. households earning more than $250,000. would see their taxes increase but the 98% of middle-class americans would see no tax increase. >> but it's entitlements as you know. it's the entitlements that have the republicans upset. when you look at the changes to entitlements, republicans would say, there's really not much that's been put reasonably on the table that's a real shift from what was already being negotiate back in 2011. >> well, there are 400 billion to 600 billion in health care savings predominantly through medicare that would be achieved. through a number of measures. and i think very encouragingly, goen again i use the word encouragingly, there are increasing realizations that we
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can do it with higher quality medical care by cutting the cost on the states, hospital required inspections, premature discharges, and also some of the measures that can cut the cost of medicaid spending which is very important to the states, as well. so there is going to be a give and take here. there has to be use the magic word, compromise. and i'm hoping that some of the rhetoric here may be a guise for the real negotiations that are going to be occurring behind the scenes. and there have to be negotiations. you know, in any sort of compromise in any serious negotiations, there has to be a give and take and i'm hoping that there will be in the coming weeks. >> nor richard blumenthal, is a democrat from connecticut joining us this morning. nice to see you, sir. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> still ahead, the u.s. has a stern warning for syria. why there's worry in washington, d.c. about chemical weapons there. "starting point" team is heading in to talk about that much more
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welcome back, everybody, stern warnings. syria from secretary of state hillary clinton. she said that any move by the assad regime to use chemical weapons against rebels would be considered crossing a red line by the united states. it would prompt action by the u.s. one official told cnn that there had been quote worrying signs of activity in syria over the last few days. i want to get to our panel this morning talk a little bit about that. barbara starr is cnn's pentagon correspondent. w. bell, a comedian who's the host of totally biased, and u.s.
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congresswoman ann hayworth is with us as well. barbara, what are the worrying signs? >> what our sources are telling us, soledad, last couple of days there have been new intelligence that the syrians are now moving their chemical weapons around in a very different way. not just consolidating for security purposes, but potentially moving them in a way that indicates they might be getting ready to use them. what do we mean by that? likelihood is what they're doing is using some of the chemical material closer or to the artillery shell dis --- >> separately -- to the actual weapons it's an indication you might be bringing them together. >> why else would you be doing that? and it is a massive concern right now. >> that has to be a major concern obviously in congress watching all of this that red line hillary clinton was talking about. >> well, absolutely. and we have obviously our major ally in the middle east, israel, is very vulnerable to this in syria. they have a massive reservoir just off the golan that you know, if they damage that, that
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has direct consequences on military actions. >> you look at israel, turkey to the north, jordan to the south, iraq -- >> -- press desperate enough -- >> that's the question, why is he doing this? >> thank you, appreciate that. still ahead this morning on "starting point," the elusive mr. mcafee. the police have been looking for the anti-virus software mogul after a murder in belize. cnn managed to catch up with him and sit down for an interview, but how they got there was so strange. that's straight ahead. ♪
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ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. good morning. welcome back. you're watching "starting point." california residents, some of them, are upset over what they say is a chinese birthing center right in the middle of their neighborhood. straight ahead this morning going to talk to the spokesperson for that group, they are protesting now.
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the group is called not in chino hills. they say there's this ainge core baby hotel that is open for business. anchor babies, of course, are babies that are born by people who don't live in the united states. they come and have a baby that then becomes an american citizen and then they leave, but gir their child american citizenship. we're going to talk to some of those protesters. first other stories making news. >> the kansas city chiefs play as scheduled and muster a win but they're finding it hard to celebrate this morning. they took to the field just a day after police say their teammate jovan belcher shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend kasandra perkins. belcher then turned the gun on himself just outside the chiefs practice facility right in front of his coaches and the general manager. he and perkins leave behind a 3-month-old daughter. the chiefs beat the carolina panthers 27-21 yesterday coach romeo crennel congratulated the team after the win. >> you stuck together like a
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team like you talked about. family and friends. you relied on those people. you relied on your faith to help get you through this. all right. and we've got through it. all right. and because everybody made a contribution. everybody helped. okay? and that's what a team is about. >> it was only the chiefs' second win of the season. coming up in just about a half an hour, soledad will speak to jovan belcher's agent jo linta. he had been his agent since 2009. his take on what could have been behind the apparent murder/suicide. the rain just won't let up in northern california this weekend the third pacific storm to hit the region in five days unleashed floodwaters and knocked out power to thousands of people from san francisco, sacramento and surrounding areas. there's rain in the forecast to begin tomorrow. we find out in two hours' time if the supreme court will wade into the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. the court releases its list at
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9:30 eastern. there's a possibility judges will decide to hear cases that challenge the defense of marriage october or california's proposition 8 which defines marriage as strictly between a man and woman. a total of nine bodies have now been pulled from three crushed, burned out cars in a collapsed highway tunnel near tokyo. officials say aging bolts or concrete slabs may have caused the 200 food section to cave in over the weekend. emergency inspections of similar tunnels have been ordered. and take a look at this. 125 mile lon traffic jam on the m-10 highway between moscow and st. petersburg, of course russia. most commutes look like a walk in the park if you have a look at that. it was caused apparently by guess fog. as of last night traffic was picking up to about soledad, get this, six miles an hour. >> call in. >> all right, alina, thank you. >> john mcafee's name is
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synonymous with computer security with a man who's anti-virus software has saved many pcs finds himself in big trouble in belize. mcafee has gone into hiding, he's claiming that the government there is out to get him, and pin a neighbor's murder on him. cnn's martin savidge was the first reporter to track down and then interview mcafee on camera since it all began. just getting that interview logistically, getting to that interview was shrouded in secrecy as well. martin, tell us about it. >> yeah, it was, soledad. i mean it was really, this was something that was weeks in the making initially just trying to make contact with john mcafee is not easy. he is extremely paranoid and very cautious about who he talks to. then when we got here, it was like out of a spy movie. the first thing he said all right this is what's going to happen, stand in front of the american arrivals area, car is going to pull up, window rolls down and a man says sorry i'm late. your response is to be, that's okay i'm waiting for a co-worker. a series of coded exchanges and
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that's to tell me that i've met the right person that can take me to john mcafee, would follow this raise zi drive through the streets of town, switching vehicles, u-turns, switchbacks, all sorts of confusing driving meant to not only confuse me but also to confuse anybody that might be following us. then we'd be john mcafee and he is a very nervous individual and certainly feels like the walls are closing in. listen to this. >> are you afraid? >> wouldn't you be so? >> and what have these weeks been like? it's been three weeks now. >> it happens in a lot. i miss my prior life. much of it has been deprivation. no baths. poor food. here we're in bliss, hot showers, a stove. so we're fairly happy right now. >> how is this going to end? how do you see this coming to an end? >> i don't have a crystal ball. i'm going to continue to fight until something changes. >> you won't turn hurself in?
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>> i will not. >> it will either be that somehow you get away or the authorities come and get you? >> one of those two. get away doesn't mean leave the country. it means that, that number one they will find the murderer, and number two the people of this country, who are by and large terrified to speak out, will start speaking out and something will change. but i will certainly not turn myself in and i will not quite fighting. >> mcafee denies any involvement with the death of his neighbor american greg fall. he was in disguise when we first saw him. he was acting as an old man with powder in his hair, using a cane, and then suddenly reveals himself to us in the hotel room. i've got to tell you, soledad. we weren't fooled for a moment. he may have thought it was a disguise but we knew who it was right away. >> wow, so bizarre. it will be interesting to see where this all ends with authorities sort of hot on his trail or trying to be. thanks for the update martin
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savage for us this morning. turning to california where a nondescript town home on the outside of chino hills is actually a chinese maternity center on the inside. now they're protesting saying that pregnant women pay thousands of dollars to come to the united states, and then give birth in that town home because it's a way for their children to have american citizenship. now that in and of itself is not illegal. 14th amendment guarantees citizenship to all people who are born or naturalized in the united states. rosanna mitchell is the spokesperson for the group of protesters called not in chino hills. she joins us there los angeles this morning. first walk me through how you discovered that this home, in fact, was a maternity center? >> well, it's really interesting. because what occurred is that there was actual investigation for about three to four months, a detective from the chino hills police had been doing surveillance for about three to four months, and they were
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concerned that there was actually human trafficking. they had received reports from the neighbors that they have seen pregnant women coming up and down the driveway, and so, they did the investigation, that's when they found out and reported to the neighbors that, in fact, it was a hotel that was being run there, for pregnant women. >> so what is your issue with this happening? i've read some interviews and you see some of the protesters, they're holding signs that say no anger babies. some people have said they're concerned about the safety of the mother. which is it? >> first and foremost i think there's different levels of concern. number one, first is the ethical and moral issue, as far as what's going on here. >> how do you mean? >> essentially what's occurred. well, they're anchor babies. what's happening is there apparently is a loophole where you can come down here from any country and have a u.s.-born baby get dual citizenship and essentially fly back to your
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country, and then get all the benefits that we get as u.s. citizens, like low interest student loans, free public education -- >> the 14th amendment, right, that says that anybody who is born in this country becomes -- is a citizen. so, so -- >> correct. correct. so essentially what's going on is they're buying their u.s. citizenship, and these types of businesses are promoting that. they're marketing by putting up a website, if you want to look up, in there it clearly indicates that you know if you want to come here to have a u.s.-born baby come here to chino hills, make sure you conceal your pregnancy so you can get your visa, and then at that point they promote all the benefits that come with that of being a u.s. citizen. >> i heard they were given a cease and desist order and you guys are still out there protesting. do you think it's not sort of done? >> it -- well it isn't done.
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there is no court order simply a letter that's been sent by the city council at this point. we don't know how long the process is going to take. it may take quite some time so what we want to do is get public pressure to mr. woo who is running the business to inform him we don't want this here in chino hills. we're a family oriented community. we welcome everyone who wants to be here, raise their family, and be part of our community. but this type of behavior we're not going to condone. >> would you support changing the 14th amendment? as you know, that's a proposal by some folks in congress? >> you know what? that's an interesting question. i think the biggest concern is we had individuals who will not be paying taxes, essentially, like we pay our taxes to live here. essentially they can be u.s. citizens, go back to the country, never pay one dollar towards taxes, and then come back, reap the benefits, and we as u.s. citizens are paying for that. so, yes, some change has to be
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made. i don't know exactly if it's a change in the 14th amendment or some type of legislation. >> hmm. all right. rossana mitchell is with not in chino hills. thank you for talking with us. appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> still ahead this morning, you know you look at these dolphins, they're graceful, they're beautiful. but take a look at some pictures where a dolphin kind of turns on a small child. we'll show you that video straight ahead and then we'll see what your must-get gifts are this year. upload a photo of yourself or your loved one. you can submit your story graphic ♪
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you don't very often hear about aggressive dolphins but it does happen. a family has proof on video. one lunged and then grabbed their daughter's arm. here's evan lambert of orlando affiliate wkmg. >> 8-year-old jillian thomas was living her dream, getting up close and personal with dolphins, her favorite animal.
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the day before thanksgiving at sea world. mom and dad had their camera rolling as jillian and her brother were feeding dolphins at the popular dolphin cove attraction but jillian ran out of fish. in a split second her treat to feed the dolphins became a terror. >> whoa, whoa, whoa! >> reporter: one more time the dolphin lungs out of the pool and goes straight for the tray of fish, taking with it jillian's arm and dragging her toward the pool. >> we think that that attraction at sea world is dangerous. and it was traumatic for us to go through that event. >> reporter: the thomases say the dolphins bite punctured jillian's skin in three places and caused minor bleeding. but now she's doing okay. we asked sea world about the incident and they told us in a statement nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, employees and animals. educators and animal care staff are always on site in this area monitoring all interactions, and are committed to guest safety. and the thomases say they were told repeatedly not to pick up the trays. but the 8-year-old just made a
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mistake. >> she just forgot. and as you see in the video, moved the plate to say she was done. >> of course we know the dolphin wasn't. the thomases say they won't be back at sea world, and they hope others will heed their warning. >> we're not banking on sea world changing that attraction. i'm, you know, i'm sure that's not going to happen. but perhaps we can change the minds of another parent or even an adult. >> wow. the pictures, you can't imagine seeing your own kid dragged by the arm. obviously she didn't get that far thank god into the water. do you think they should stop doing these feedings? >> live animals. >> they're animals. we've decided dolphins are adorable and cute they're hungry animals and we're holding food. >> so just cancel the whole attraction? >> i think just know that sometimes you might get bit. >> she's an -year-old child. >> i'm a parent. that's a story to me about bad parenting. it's not a story about dolphins. >> really? >> and i'm not saying --
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>> how is that about bad parenting? >> because -- >> they're little kids -- >> i feel bad for the dolphin is all i'm saying. they're getting blamed for being dolphins. >> yeah. i mean, maybe sea world needed more cautionary signs. maybe they needed more people up there, more staff interacting all the way up and down that line. but they are animals. and i'm asking myself, when i look at that, i'm so sorry for the little girl and her parents but where were the parents. i hate to say but in my day my mother would have been standing right there supervising me. >> you get bit by a dolphin. >> i got bit by a dolphin. do you know how popular she's going to be in school now? the dolphin bite girl. >> exactly. >> please don't encourage them. ahead on "starting point." the battle for college football's number one now set and it's two deng andary college football programs. live to notre dame and university of alabama.
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college football fans are all fired up for the january 7th showdown between unbeaten notre dame and the crimson tide of alabama. the winner will take home the bcs championship. fighting irish are top ranked in the nation. they're hoping to win their first national championship since 1988. alabama is trying to become the first team to ever win back to back bcs titles. ted rowlands is live in south bend, louisiana. joe carter joins us from crimson tide country in tuscaloosa, alabama. let's get the rivalry started on air live right now. ted, get this started for me. how are the irish feeling about this? >> reporter: well, as you can imagine, soledad, very excited.
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you know, tradition is everywhere here in south bend. outside the stadium here you see it. inside you see all the national championship banners being hung. outside you have all of the coaches that won national championships. they all have a statue here. bottom line, though, it's been 24 years since notre dame fans have enjoyed a national championship. so as you can imagine, fans across the country who cheer for notre dame and students here in south bend are absolutely thrilled at another shot at a title. >> super excited. campus has just erupted. everyone's, like, going nuts on campus right now. >> everyone's worried about getting tickets to the game right now because they're doing a lottery. so it's going to be pretty tough to get tickets. we're all just worried about getting to miami, i think. >> especially after coming back from thanksgiving break. there's just so much excitement. you just hear so much about, oh, are you going to miami? yeah, everyone's going to miami whether they have a ticket or not. >> reporter: those will be tough tickets to get.
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notre dame a ten-point underdog here. but this is a team that has persevered throughout the season. they're undefeated. they have a linebacker on their team, he's a heisman trophy candidate. he lost his girlfriend to leukemia and his grandmother in a 24-hour period during the season. the way he as reacted to that, soledad, has inspired people across the country. he's really one of those special players that does not come along very often. he is the rock of this team. >> let's turn to tuscaloosa, now. joe, tide, defending champs. how are folks there feeling? >> reporter: feeling great. i know ted and i both wish we were in miami right now because it's a little cold out here. we're standing in front of the stadium. the cathedral here in tuscaloosa. where we're actually standing is what they call the walk of champions. what it is, is all the coaches over the years, over their storied program, that have won national championships. you've got five coaches here. they've collectively won 14 national championships.
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the statue that i'm standing closest to is the current alabama head coach, and that's nick saban. it's funny because it's the only one of the statues that dons tennis shoes and a golf shirt. everyone else is in suit. nick saban is a much more casual coach. in his tenner he's won two national championships. the students here believe he'll win one in 2012. they've written it in chalk. students here say alabama football is more than just a short. it's a culture. it's a way of life. fans we talked to last night, they start cheering for the crimson tide as a very young age. >> been an alabama fan all my life. matter of fact, my children. i've got a daughter, she's 30. she's been to 31 home comings. my son is 21. he's been to 22 homecomings. >> it's incredibly special alabama earned the opportunity to play again. you know, i look forward to
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alabama beating anybody, but particularly anybody that's not in the s.e.c. >> alabama fans and this program certainly used to being here. this is obviously their third opportunity to win a national championship in four years. first time ever in the bcs era for a team to win back to back national championships, soledad. you know what? it's a hot ticket already. over 100,000 ticket requests have been put in for the national championship game and it's still 35 days away. >> if you were reporting on it, though, you could go for free and not need a ticket. are you guys -- are you rooting for someone? i mean, do you have like who you'd like to win? go ahead, joe, what do you think? >> reporter: you know what, this is old fashioned football here. two storied programs over 100 years apiece. good old fashioned football that's going to -- >> which means what? >> reporter: two great power houses colliding. i would like to see -- i'm not going to pick. notre dame would be nice to have a new champion. a new champion would be nice. >> ted, you agree? >> reporter: absolutely. i've touched on jesus staring me
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downright here outside the stadium. notre dame all the way for me. >> we'll see what happens. thanks, guys. still ahead on "starting point," a potentially explosive situation forces the evacuation of an entire town. we'll tell you the source of that danger coming up. plus, the story of the homeless man who received a pair of shoes from a selfless police officer. but now there's a twist. when reporters caught up to him, the boots were nowhere to be seen. we'll tell you why. that's straight ahead on "starting point." that's double s you can actually use... sadly, their brother's white christmas just got "blacked out." [ brother ] but it's the family party! really jingles your bells, doesn't it? my gift to you! the capital one venture card! for any flight, any time! that's double miles you can actually use! how illuminating. what's in your wallet? let me guess, am i on the naughty list again? ho ho ho!
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-- captions by vitac -- mmm i can still see you. good morning. welcome, everybody. "starting point," this morning, tragedy in the nfl. a player murders his girlfriend and takes his own life right before game day. ki trying to make sense of the tragedy this morning. plus, the fiscal split in washington, d.c. the obama administration draws a line in the sand over tax hikes. the two sides now seem further
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apart than ever before. and we have less than a month to go. soledad, a flood of trouble in the west. widespread destruction as storms pound already soggy parts of northern california. >> lots to talk about this morning. we'll have joe linta, the agent for kansas city chiefs linebacker jovan belcher. also talking to florida republican congressman connie mack. california republican mary bono mack will join us as well. also, carlos gutierrez. former giants runningback tiki barber is with us in the studio. it's monday, december 3rd, and "starting point" begins right now. welcome, everybody. our team joining us around the table. barbara starr, cnn's pentagon correspondent. we were talking this morning, it has been literally four years since we've seen each other in person. >> last time i saw you was inauguration day. >> we talk all the time.
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in person, four years. kamau bell is a median. new york congresswoman nan hayworth. alina cho sticking around to help us, too. starting point is the search for answers in the suicide of kansas city chiefs linebacker jovan belcher who also killed his girlfriend over the weekend. the team took to the field a day after that tragedy. it was a somber victory. they beat the carolina panthers 27-21 winning just their second game of the season. saturday morning, belcher shot his 22-year-old girlfriend kasandra perkins. then he turned the gun on himself right outside the chiefs' practice facility and right in front of the general manager and coaches, too. he and perkins have a 3-month-old daughter whose name is zoey. now she is left behind. cas cas cas cas cas casey wians has been talking.
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>> reporter: it was a real somber mood as you mentioned after that game. this is only the chiefs' second victory of the season. normally there would be a lot of celebration because by all accounts they played their best game of the season. but there was no celebration. very limited celebration in that locker room. let's hear from some of those players and the coach had to say after the game. >> we stuck together as a team like we talked about. helped each other. all right? family and friends, you relied on those people. all right? you relied on your faith to help get you through this. all right? we got through it. in a grand way because everybody made a contribution. everybody helped. okay? that's what a team is about. >> i've been through this situation earlier in the year in tennessee. when i was in cincinnati. i'm kind of used to it -- i wouldn't say used to it but i've been in this situation before. continue to try to pray for the
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families that lost loved ones and continue to go. >> we need to talk to each other more as men. not as football players. i mean in life. generally men don't really show their feelings. they don't talk about what's going on. they don't cry. they don't show emotion. i mean, to have a act go on like this yesterday, that's one of those things, it could have been avoided. but as a teammate, you know, we have to do more about -- not getting in people's business but, i mean, just -- just, you know, making sure that, you know, your teammate's okay. >> reporter: that subdued mood was not just happening among the players. it extended into the stands. there was a lot of debate about whether this game should be played or not. the stands were only about half full at the very most throughout the game. and i got to tell you, soledad, this was the quietest national football league crowd i've ever heard. >> i'm not surprised.
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what a terrible tragedy. casey wian for us. i want to bring in joe linta and introduce tiki barber who's joining us as well. joe linta is the agent for both belcher and also romeo crennel, the chiefs' head coach who witnessed a suicide outside the team's practice facility. tiki, of course, former running back for the new york giants is with us, too. let's begin with you, mr. linta. i think there's so many questions about why. you look back at sort of the events past, there's really nothing i see are red flags that you would say, oh, this was expected. everything led up to this. answer that question for me. what happened? why? >> well, the how and the why are really the questions that trouble everyone right now. i knew the young man for about five years. and i had nothing but fondness for him and great respect obviously up until saturday morning. and you just -- the how and the why is the craziness of this.
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there was nothing in my relationship with him that would indicate any troubling past, anything that troubled him, that would have caused him to commit such a heinous act as this. and we just -- we'll never know, unfortunately. and i think that's the -- the great debate of this is how and why. and i think those that were with him down in kansas city every day, because i'm not in kansas city, would have the same trouble answering that question. >> coach crennel, i know, is also a client. have you had a chance to talk to him? what has he told you? >> we've -- we've just talked via text. it was kind of like, you know, i'm here for you, i'm praying for you. there's nothing to be said when you lose a loved one. especially under these conditions. i think we all grieve in our own way. you don't try to impose your grief on someone else the way you might handle it. you know, i just want to let him know i'm thinking about him. he as well as scott pioli are in
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my prayers, as well as obviously both families. >> let me bring in tiki barber. you heard the clip of derrick johnson who plays for the chiefs. he was saying -- very emotional, sort of saying we've got to figure out how to, i guess, get in each other's heads. understand people who are having problems. how practically speaking do you do this? >> it's very difficult. because you're together all day as a football team. you're in your little meeting groups. linebackers know each other very well. running backs know each other very well. >> you know about people's emotional problems, money problems, family problems? >> a little bit. it all depends on how long you've been together. i think what happens in sports, especially football because it's such a masculine environment, you try to mask everything. if you hurt your ankle, you fake it and run it off like nothing's wrong. especially if you have an emotional or mental problem. you're certainly going to mask it. along the way if you don't you're going to get weeded out. football is a game of attrition. the weak don't make it to the top levels. so you mask any issues or demons that you may have so that you can get to that top level.
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i think it's a disservice, quite honestly, to the individuals in the games. because statistics will tell you that there are a couple guys in the nfl that have mental issues and it doesn't get addressed often enough. >> back to joe linta for a second. we know jovan went to the field and the facility and he talked to his coaches. i mean, he was talking to them with a gun to his head. why do you think his instinct after he kills his girlfriend, the baby in the other room, would be to go and thank his coaches? >> i think the instinct would have been the kind of young man that he was and the way he was raised that, you know, he probably -- i don't know. i'm speculating. maybe he knew that he had to take his own life after what he had done. maybe he came to that realization. i don't know. i'm speculating. but i think he truly, really wanted to go and thank those two individuals in particular that were so instrumental in the success of his career and his life on the field.
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and that were scott pioli and romeo crennel. i don't represent scott pioli. scott's one of the finest men i've ever been associated with in my years in the nfl. and romeo is just the salt of the earth type of person. i think what romeo did yesterday, which was really just him being him and shepherding that team through that process was nothing short of amazing and unbelievable that he could remain strong for them when he was grieving himself. same with scott pioli. >> brutal. brutal. and to see those pictures of jovan belcher holding his baby with his girlfriend, and them smiling. so contradictory to what we now know. joe linta, thank you for talking with us. mr. belcher's agent and also agent for romeo crennel. tiki, thank you for talking with us. other stories making news today. >> secretary of state hillary clinton issued a stern warning to syria today. we'll talk a little bit more about that a bit later on. meanwhile, we want to get to the situation in california.
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because there is no end in sight to those northern california rains. in fact, this weekend the third pacific storm to hit the region in five days unleashed floodwaters and knocked out power to thousands of people in san francisco, sacramento and several surrounding communities. and there is rain in the forecast tomorrow after a brief respite today. now to that story about syria. secretary of state hillary clinton issuing a stern warning to syria today. she said that any move by the assad regime to use chemical weapons against rebels would be considered crossing a red line by the united states. and that would prompt action by the u.s. syria is known to have a vast stockpile of chemical weapons. authorities have ordered folks in doyline, louisiana, to evacuate their homes as they work to secure more than 6 million pounds of gun powder. it was found on camp minden. workers are busy moving that powder into authorized
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facilities on the very same site. so far they have safely stored more than 1 million pounds. that, by the way, is enough to fill 27 18-wheelers. a follow-up to the story of jeffrey hillman, the homeless man who receive add pair of shoes from a selfless new york city police officer. "the new york times" caught up with hillman on the upper west side and his new boots were nowhere to be seen. get this. the 54-year-old hillman said that the boots are hidden because, quote, they are worth a lot of money and he could lose his life over them. hillman says he was honorably discharged after serving five years in the army in the late 1970s and 1980s. it was the picture seen around the world. so sad that he feels like he has to hide them and it was such an extraordinary gesture. >> that one story is indicative of so many things in the american culture. the idea that you're a vet and you're sleeping on the streets. the idea that for people who are in poverty or homeless, anything of value, you shouldn't even use even if it's shoes because it's so unsafe someone could rob you.
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>> the extraordinary gesture of that new york city police officer. >> the compassion we saw. >> the photo seen around the world. it was incredible. >> you guys had a chance to talk to him on the show. i was really jealous. i really wanted to do that interview. thank you. we have to take a short break. still ahead this morning, as the clock ticks, both sides in dc are digging in about the fiscal cliff. one lawmaker says it looks like we're going over it. we'll talk this morning to carlos gutierrez. he's the former commerce secretary for the bush administration. that's coming up. and bob costas strays from sports into a highly charged political debate. takes a little bit of heat on twitter about it. we're going to talk about that, too. you're watching "starting point. "we're back in just a moment. ♪
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welcome, everybody. you're watching "starting point. "if we go over the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, taxes will go up, major spending cuts will kick in.
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treasury secretary tim geithner says it is critical to negotiate a deal before that happens. >> this is something we can do. and i think we're going to get there. because there's too much at stake not to get there. not just for the american economy but the world economy. we have a chance to do something very good for the country now. >> republicans, though, aren't happy with what i think you could call a first iteration of the plan. listen. >> i was just flabbergasted. i looked at him, said, you can't be serious? i've just never seen anything like it. >> that's majority leader boehner saying that he was stunned to get some of the details of what the president was planning. joining us this morning, carlos gutierrez. former commerce secretary under george w. bush. also former director of hispanic outreach for the romney campaign. nice to see you, sir. thank you for talking with us. >> pleasure, soledad. >> this morning i was talking to senator blumenthal.
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he was sort of saying i'm optimistic, i'm hopeful. where do you see that? i don't know that i see optimism. >> no. i agree with you. i'm very disapoented. you know, the big picture is more than just the fiscal cliff. and a lot bigger than do we raise taxes on people who are there to make more than $250,000 a year. this is about the debt. it's about the fiscal deficit. it's about our economy. it's about our future. it's about our children. and president obama is playing a very risky game. because in the end, this is his presidency. and you're going to look back and have a bar chart of deficits and debt. and there's not going to be an asterisk that says it was the republicans' fault. i think we've got to stop playing poker, work together and understand we're working to save the country. >> that might be the long game. the asterisk in history books later. right? the short gain is raising taxes. that really is what everything is focused on right now. and i think, nan, it's fair to say that could be a big problem for republicans.
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all polls indicate that it's going to be the republicans that hold the bag if you end up not raises taxes on people who are perceived to be very wealthy who could afford it. >> well, there is the -- there are the atmospherics and then there are the economic realities. of course, if you look at a lot of the polling surrounding the election and post election exit polling show that, in fact, president obama was elected primarily because people felt that he was compassionate, that he cares about them. and that's an important quality. but, in fact, they endorsed the fiscal approach that governor romney suggested, which was that we need to grow. we need to have a tax policy that makes sense. we need to tackle -- >> polling also shows that people think the richest americans should pay more taxes. clearly. there's no doubt at all on that. so let's go back to secretary gutierrez. what is the -- what is the give? what are republicans putting on the table in terms of specifics? because the democrats charge republicans haven't really -- you know, that they've laid out
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something. maybe the republicans hate it. but now republicans have to lay out something. what are republicans specifically willing to cut? >> i think that speaker boehner went a long way by saying we are going to put revenues on the table. and, soledad, the obama administration very cleverly has made this a debate about tax increases. i wish that the explainer in chief who explains very well, i wish he would explain to the american people what's going to happen to medicare if we don't act. that needs to be explained. this is not just about, you know, sticking it to people who make over $250,000 a year. >> okay. let's talk about that, then. >> he has the opportunity to do that. >> let's take taxes which is an issue, let's take that off the table for a moment. then what would republicans propose as cuts to entitlements? what's on the table? medicare's a good one. >> you know, one thing that needs to -- that we all need to understand, $700 billion was
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taken out of medicare to begin obama care. so right there, you know, from a management standpoint, why would you reduce money from something that's going broke? the other thing that we need to understand is that tax rates are going up on january 1 within obama care. so we're talking about almost a trillion dollars of increases in taxes and fees. >> let's not talk about the democrats for a moment. let's not even talk about what the president's put on the table. let's talk about the republicans. give me specific cuts that republicans would be behind. because we're really short on specifics from the gop. lay out for me, here's what we're willing to cut in terms of entitlements. put it on the table. >> look, there's been a plan in terms of indexing the increases. we are going to have to find a way to reduce the gap between
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how much medicare costs per person and how much we pay. because it's not going to last. it's going to go broke. >> so let me bring in nan for a second, then. forgive me for cutting you off. tick off for me. as you know, one of the biggest criticisms from the dems, the republicans as much as they're flabbergasted and shock and amazed and -- >> of course we are, dosoledad. the simpson/bowles commission 3-1 expenses to taxes. the plan president boehner sent at 2-1 expense to taxes. it's actually .25-1. the republicans are putting something up on taxes. let's talk about revenues. now they're also supposed to put something up on medicare? what is the role of the leader of the country? >> let me ask our congresswoman. if we're going to take taxes for a moment off the table.
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voters like me can't manage several -- taxes as we discussed let's put off the table. we're talking about ent entitlements, things we're willing to cut. what are republicans willing to cut? >> there are all sorts of opportunities within the federal budget. the number one to me would be the consequences of the affordable care act. 2010 health law. very well intentioned. massive costs. we would have to discuss it again. social security and medicare are commitments we've made to our seniors over decades. senator gutierrez is exactly right. we've got $700 billion was shifted out of medicare -- >> you're willing to cut social security or not willing to cut social security? >> no. we have to have a rational approach to -- social security's primarily a little bit of an arithmetic issue. the age eligibility is going up. that's already in current law. we have to have a conversation about that. but it's got to be democrats, republicans together. i think politically it's very -- it's clever, but it's -- i don't think republicans are going to
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go along with well, gosh, mr. president, somehow you're asking us to make all the tough suggestions and choices about -- >> that comes with entitlement reform. >> secretary gutierrez is exactly right. this is for the president to lead on as well. he's entirely capable of doing it and i think he does need to. >> this is the biggest deal in this presidency. this is -- we're playing for the highest stakes. we're playing for the country's future economically. why doesn't he take charge of this? why doesn't he explain to people why we have to do something about expenses, about medicare, about entitlement? that they're going to go broke in ten years? that's what he should be doing. you know, lincoln-esque style. he should be able to deliver the bad news. he can do it. he was re-elected. where is he? >> secretary carlos gutierrez joining us this morning. appreciate your time, sir. nice to see you as always. we got to take a short break
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or i'm not going to hit my commercial on time. "starting point," we're going to be talking about the world of controversy now that has been waded into by bob costas. there's angry folks on twitter who say stick with sports and not to your take on gun laws. talk about that straight ahead. i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook.
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welcome back, everybody. nbc sports caster bob costas created a stir on social media by using his halftime segment to advocate for gun control. he was commenting on the murder/suicide we were just talking about just a moment ago, the kansas city chiefs' linebacker jovan belcher who killed the mother of his 3-month-old daughter and then took his own life. here's a little bit of his
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90-second commentary. listen. >> handguns do not enhance our safety. they exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. >> well, as you can imagine, the you know what hit the fan after that. and people on -- the twitter hit the fan. people tweeted things like if guns kill people, do spoons make people fat? i don't remember bob costas saying anything at halftime about four people dead in benghazi. if o.j. simpson had not had a knife, nicole brown simpson would still be alive. >> slow down. i think he was found not guilty of that. >> what do you think? bob costas wading into territory he shouldn't have? >> i think he was feeling emotional about it. i think you should cut him a break. this was something incredibly tragic that happened. yes, we've been saying they're looking into undiagnosed concussions, potentially, as a
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problem in the nfl because there have been some six murder/suicides in the past year or two. you know, it was an emotional moment. he's been covering sports for a long time. i was actually quite surprised because knowing what little i know about bob costas it seemed a little uncharacteristic. he doesn't usually do that type of thing. i say cut him a little slack. >> he's had 90 seconds to talk about guns over his career. bob costas is a great commentator. the big issue is we don't want to talk about gun control in this country. any time anyone talks about it they get yelled at. >> i think what he did was sort of to raise the topic. just by raising the issue, maybe that's not the right forum, but it's true. we don't have really good, thoughtful conversations about gun control or about domestic violence really either at the end of the day. this guy killed his girlfriend in the ultimate case of domestic violence. >> in both cases, your heart has to go out to all the families affected. maybe that's one of the issues here. these terrible violent crimes just wreak havoc through families that are victims of them for decades and decades.
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it's not just the guns. >> now the 3-month-old baby. zoey is living with relatives. >> i thought it was interesting what you were saying earlier. which is that you've obviously covered the military for a long time. this sort of macho attitude in the nfl where you don't talk about it. you said kind of reminds me of what happens in the military. >> the military and the nfl are collaborating very closely right now on diagnosing head injuries from football. >> i didn't know that. >> from being at war. it is the same issue. the culture of young men being together and, perhaps, not willing to talk about their problems worried about the stigma. >> that's the root cause in this terrible, tragic event. it's not the gun. the gun was an instrument. but the root cause was a deep disturbance, unfortunately. >> i don't know. i don't know that i agree with you on that. and i don't know that i don't agree with you on that. i do think we should have conversations about our gun laws, accessibility. i have no idea what his access to a gun was. >> how can it be wrong to talk
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about guns? whatever your position is? that's not really the relevant point. >> i'm going to throw in domestic violence. another topic we don't want to talk about. got to take a break. still ahead this morning, disaster underground when a commuter tunnel collapses, crushing car. we'll tell you what happened there. and the mayor who won't be dining like a mayor this week. corey booker is going to start his food stamp experiment. i think this is awesome. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money,
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welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting poi point." in just a couple minutes we'll be talking to connie mack and
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marry bono mack about the latest wheeling and dealing as we look to be going over the fiscal cliff. we're following those pacif pacific storms. this weekend the third storm to hit the region in just fivedays unleashed floodwaters and knocked out power to thousands in sacramento, san francisco and surrounding areas. there's rain in the forecast after a brief respite today again tomorrow. officials say missing bolts meant to secure concrete slabs may be the cause of a deadly collapse in a japanese highway tunnel. nine people were killed when a 200-foot section of eight inch thick concrete caved in on the cars yesterday morning. emergency inspections have been ordered on nearly 50 tunnels and similar structures across japan. the mayor of newark, new jersey, is taking the food stamp challenge. we're talking about corey booker. he will only be eating what he can afford to buy this week. he'll have just 33 dlrs $33 to
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with. that's the average weekly food stamp benefit in his state per day. booker is already tweeting that he will be giving up coffee because he won't be able to afford it. i love this story. i know you do, too, soledad. >> i to, too. because mostly i thought -- i've never really thought about how much money people who are on food stamps actually get. then how do they navigate their way through buying. when he started tweeting about it, and i follow him on twitter, i started thinking, i never really thought about how do you feed a family on a certain amount of money. it will be an interesting experiment. it will really be insightful for people who fortunately don't have to deal with that issue and we'll learn a lot. another money issue is the fiscal cliff. in something like, what, 29 days now we're going to hit the fiscal cliff. spending cuts, tax hikes. until lawmakers can reach a deal. house speaker john boehner pr pretty blunt on on where he felt the cliff negotiations were standing. listen. >> i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. we've put a serious offer on the
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table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved. but the white house has responded with virtually nothing. >> the nothing he's talking about is the president's plan which was delivered to gop leaders last week by the treasury secretary, timothy geithner. ca calls for $1.6 trillion in new revenue. republicans say that figure is unacceptable. until they present their own plan the white house is standing by that proposal right now. despite the parties and lines in the sand we're joined by two republican law make rs. i've overwhelmed by republican lawmakers this morning. >> you're surrounded, soledad. >> connie mack is with us this morning and mary bono mack. i'm used to it on this show. it's interesting to hear boehner saying, listen, nowhere, period. nowhere. which sounded very final and very bloomy. earlier when i was talking to senator blumenthal, he was like, i'm optimistic. i'm kind of hopeful.
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what do you think? >> i think first of all the timing of this probably couldn't be worse for negotiation purposes from our perspective to some degree. right before the holidays, which is a tough time for politicians anyway. in some terms we feel like it's light years between now and the new year. it's really not. it's right around the corner. lawmakers will continue to feel a lot more pressure between now and then to get something done. at the same time we're coming off the heels of this election. to some degree we're kind of trying to find our negotiating legs, if you will. nonetheless, it's critically important. i think it's critically important we say to the american people that we get the fiscal house in order. >> how do you do that in realistically 29 days? what do you say? >> let me go back to this. no one should be surprised we are in the position we are in right now. >> hey, i'm not. >> it is the same people negotiating the same deal all over again. and so when you get into that -- what is the definition of insanity? doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? when we did the super committee
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last time, that was a complete failure. so no one should be surprised at where we are. and i would say this. that neither side has put up a credible plan. >> i think we have a graphic. why don't we throw that up on the air. sort of a list of what they're offering. republicans say it is ridiculous. it is sort of redundant from 2011. there's nothing new in it. i know democrats have sort of said -- i'm thinking we have a chunk from geithner. let's play that. his whole point was kind of like, listen. it's like a chess game. we've now made our move. it's up to the republicans to come up with something else. let me play what he said. >> we've laid out a very comprehensive, detailed framework of how we'd do it in what stages with $600 billion of spending cuts over ten years in entitlement programs. i think right now the best thing for them to do is come to us and say here's what we think makes sense. we've told them what we think makes sense. what we can't do is try to figure out what's going to be good for them. they have to come tell us. >> them being republicans. what's your move? >> i think that's exactly right. we do need to.
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but, look, there's no new ideas. they're all the same ideas we've been talking about for 18 months, for two years. it's the same ideas. so we're going to put up things about revenue, but not on tax increases because we know tax increases will kill people's opportunity to find work. so we'll find revenue, but not through tax increases. we'll make spending cuts to programs that the government and the people of this country don't need, don't want, don't deserve. >> the republicans on this side, the democrats on this side. now we're at the same game. what's the solution? >> i think we continue to have this argument until right up until that date. remember, this date was set in motion by the same two people who are negotiating this deal. president obama and speaker boehner. >> i had the opportunity to ask secretary geithner in may in a hearing in the financial services committee in the house if he could name a state. we have 50 states. if he could name one state that had higher economic growth than a state that had lower taxes and
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less regulation. he could not name a state. yet what he's proposing is higher taxes and more regulation. that's what this administration has done over the past four years. we have two massive laws that are breaks on the economy. 2010 health law. affordable care act. well intentioned but -- >> will republicans raise taxes? there's two chess movesky s ki see as a lowly voter. >> i won't. but this is -- this is where leadership counts. and so speaker boehner needs to work with the conference to find republicans that are willing to go along with that. >> are you going to raise taxes? >> look, it depends on what you mean by raising taxes. >> on the top 2% of the wealthy people, you say you pay instead of 35%, we're going to put you at 37%. >> this is a nuance position right now. you know, we're talking about on our side closing loopholes.
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i don't know why that can't get traction on the other side. but the question is, is why is this happening? how should the american people feel? they should be angry about it. i think the fact it's happening right before the holidays is unfortunate. we can all sit here and say how many of these tough votes we've had to take right before the holiday. both sides know the pressure that's put on lawmakers is very significant. but whether raising taxes again, it depends on what exactly you mean by this. and this is -- >> top 2% of americans who make -- >> that's one part of it. the truth of the matter is there's such a breakdown within the congress of trust and respect between both sides -- >> ding, ding, ding. >> -- that we cannot trust one another to truly negotiate in fairness. it's very sad. >> we got to go to commercial break or i'll get killed. that's the most important thing you just said. i think you're right. i think the american people know it. you're not working together. we've got to take a break. still ahead, we're going to introduce you to a prominent african-american shoe designer who had a dream job designing for nike and then quit. we'll tell you why. that's straight ahead. citracal slow release
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welcome back, everybody. tell you the story of a man who left his dream job to help other people pursue their dreams. it's this week's "black in america." george howell talks with a successful, athletic footwear designer who left a lucrative career at nike to try to help change the complexion of the footwear industry. listen. >> this is a snapshot of some of the products i've designed over the course of my career. this is the air jordan 21. >> reporter: working at nike. dwayne edwards designed the signature sneaker lines of superstar athletes. carmelo anthony. derek jeter. and his childhood idol, michael jordan. but after 11 years at nike,
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edwards walked away. >> the footwear industry is close to a $50 billion industry in the u.s. alone. there's probably a good 3,000 to 4,000 footwear designers in this industry. but people of color are underrepresented. >> reporter: so what you're telling me, it comes down to exposure. people knowing about the industry. and also knowing where to go, how to maneuver your way into positions like you had? >> oh, most definitely. >> if you're asked to do something, you have to do it. >> reporter: that's when this father of two decided to pool his own resources. to open a footwear design school. >> we have to be designing the product as well. >> reporter: it opened in portland in 2010. it helped precious hannah secure a job at nike. >> here's a pencil. here's some paper. take it.
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do what you do. >> reporter: from women to minorities, dwayne edwards is inspiring a new diverse wave of shoe designers. >> designing a product that goes into a store, that's going to come and go. but impacting a life is generati generational. >> reporter: all because he chose to leave a lucrative career behind him to teach others how to follow in his footsteps. george howell, cnn, portland, oregon. >> i love that story. i love that man. our "black in america" documentary, this year it's called "who is "black in america"?" hope you watch that. ahead on "starting point," children living behind bars even though they've done nothing wrong. we're going to talk to a true hero who was honored giving some of these kids a chance for a better future. that story is ahead. stay with us. you won't take my life.
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this is for my children and this is for back to my country, nepal. thank you everyone who voted for me and believed in my dream. >> that's our cnn hero of the year. she's in her 20s. she is a woman behind a center in nepal that keeps children from having to live in jail with their parents. she's in l.a. this morning. nice to have you. congratulations. i know you win a lot of money because of how successful you were. what did it mean to you, the moment they called your name? you looked completely stunned. how did it feel? >> for me, it was a -- it was really a big thing. because you cannot believe what's happening around. and for me now i see that my
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dream is coming to a reality. definitely it was a big thing for me. >> you discovered when you were fairly young, in your early 20s, that people in nepal who are being incarcerated had sort of two choices, right? either they could bring their children with them or the kids could become street children. i know this became your passion. you started with almost nothing. what will you do with the money now? you've got $300,000 that you'll be able to spend. what do you do with it? >> now with this money, what we will be getting, we would like to make our butterfly home which is my big dream. because now we are staying at a rented place. we don't have big place to have much facility. definitely we would like to make our dream house, butterfly home, definitely. >> wonderful. finally, actress susan sarandon who not only gave you your award but also doing a documentary on your work is following you and shooting this remarkable story. what do you want the world to know about the work you're doing with the children in nepal?
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i think many people had no clue this was happening. >> i think susan has -- like, she has finished the movie with us. and i want all people to know that how fortunate we all are. and i think we should give back to society. not just in terms of money, like in terms of your time, your skill, like, teach them anything you want to have, you know. so definitely it's -- it has brought a big change in my life, definitely. >> congratulations. you are truly deserving of this honor. it was so much fun to watch the awards last night. it was really an amazing experiment. pushpa basnet has $300,000 now to put towards the children in nepal whose parents are incarcerated and also sometimes have to live in jail. short break. back in a moment. questions?
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welcome back, everybody.
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a member of the u.s. coast guard is dead after a suspicious boat rammed his inflatable boat during a pursuit off the coast of southern california. the department of homeland security says he was killed during a counterdrug operation. he and another coast guard member were thrown off at impact. the coast guard says the suspicious vessel was intercepted and two people have been detained. ford is issuing recalls for two of its newest and biggest selling models. the 2013 escape crossover and 2013 fusion se dad. the problem is the ecoboost engines can overheat and catch on fire. ford says escape and fusion owners will get a loaner car from their dealership until the problem is fixed. the recall will affect almost 90,000 vehicles. ing. the pope is on twitter. finally. the pope is on twitter. he's going to start december 12th. he already tweeted once. he's going to begin tweeting using the handle @pontiffex.
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the pope will be composing the tweets himself. vatican launched a twitter news feed 17 months ago. kicked it off with the first and i think only tweet so far from pope benedict. that is changing on december 12th. time for end point this morning. why don't you, barbara, start us off. what do you think? what's the take away from the day? >> syria's not looking good right now. north korea says it's going to launch a long range ballistic missile. it's a beautiful holiday season here in new york but 800 million people around the world don't have clean drinking water and a lot of military people will tell you that's the one issue where peace on earth would be helped. more clean drinking water. sanitation for those people around the world. >> a lot of issues sort of percolating around the globe as we head to the end of the year. we've been really focused today on the fiscal cliff. syria another big story we're following as well. >> i know you got a tour coming up in l.a. not in new york. what's that about? >> i'm starting small in l.a.
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it's called the kamau uprising. bring a friend of a different race you get in two for one. >> oh, i love that. that's very nice. nan, what you got for us? >> i listen to kamau and barbara talk about the opportunities we have for harmony and for bettering our world. we have a lot of challenges around the world. and people all over the world look to the united states, think about the china house with the mothers, for us to be the leaders, for us to have the strongest economy and the best in the world. >> what are you thinki ithey th sit here and fight over the fiscal cliff still years in. >> we will resolve this. we always have. i hope that americans will think about what has made us strong. and it is individual initiative. us helping each other in our communities. having a government that respects us. and that's the right size. and letting enterprise thrive. >> maybe just getting together and talking. kumbaya to all. nice to have you this morning. tomorrow on "starting


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